Thought Leadership

New Missouri Law Gives Securities Brokers Immunity for Protecting Seniors

August 27, 2015 Advisory

A new law providing Missouri securities brokers with new options for attempting to protect elderly customers who might be victims of financial fraud goes into effect tomorrow (August 28, 2015). The "Senior Investors Protection Act" seeks to protect senior citizens or disabled individuals with assets in brokerage accounts, and also provides immunity to brokers against civil suits over their actions.

As the population ages and more investors are plagued by diminished capacity and increased exposure to financial exploitation, securities brokers in Missouri and nationwide are faced with a variety of difficult circumstances. Brokers are generally required to honor a customer’s orders, and also generally prohibited from discussing their customer’s holdings with anyone who is not specifically authorized on that account. These rules too often lead to circumstances in which unscrupulous family members, friends or others take advantage of seniors.

Under the new law, a brokerage firm can notify and provide documents to senior service agencies, including the office of the Missouri securities commissioner, and also contact family members to alert them to the firm's concerns. If the broker properly notifies the agencies, it can refuse to make disbursements even if ordered to do so by its customers. The law provides specific immunity from civil liability in those circumstances, freeing the brokers to exercise reasonable care in serving their customers.

The law does NOT authorize these same actions or provide similar immunity for licensed investment advisers in Missouri, meaning a large section of the financial advice community is not protected. The new law also only references immunity from "civil liability," and does NOT directly address the arbitration clauses that are found in most every brokerage customer account agreement. FINRA, the self-regulatory organization that administers the industry’s arbitration program, did not testify on the Missouri bill.

Reporting and taking action under the new law will require close adherence to its provisions, and so broker-dealers and financial advisors seeking to engage the new law (and its immunity features) should consult legal counsel.

Contact Us
  • Worldwide
  • Boston, MA
  • Denver, CO
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Edwardsville, IL
  • Jefferson City, MO
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • London, England
  • Miami, FL
  • New York, NY
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Princeton, NJ
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Wilmington, DE
Worldwide
abstract image of world map
Boston, MA
800 Boylston St.
30th Floor
Boston, MA 02199
Google Maps
Boston, Massachusetts
Denver, CO
4643 S. Ulster St.
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80237
Google Maps
Denver, Colorado
Dublin, Ireland
Fitzwilliam Hall, Fitzwilliam Place
Dublin 2, Ireland
Google Maps
Edwardsville, IL
115 N. Second St.
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Google Maps
Edwardsville, Illinois
Jefferson City, MO
101 E. High St.
First Floor
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Google Maps
Jefferson City, Missouri
Kansas City, MO
2345 Grand Blvd.
Suite 1500
Kansas City, MO 64108
Google Maps
Kansas City, Missouri
Las Vegas, NV
1980 Festival Plaza Drive, Suite 750
One Summerlin
Las Vegas, NV 89135
Google Maps
Las Vegas, Nevada
London, England
Royal College of Surgeons of England
38-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields
London, WC2A 3PE
Google Maps
Miami, FL
355 Alhambra Circle
Suite 1250
Coral Gables, FL 33134
Google Maps
Photo of Miami, Florida
New York, NY
7 Times Square, 44th Floor
New York, NY 10036
Google Maps
New York City skyline
Philadelphia, PA
2005 Market Street
29th Floor, One Commerce Square
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Google Maps
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Princeton, NJ
100 Overlook Center
Second Floor
Princeton, NJ 08540
Google Maps
Princeton, New Jersey
Salt Lake City, UT
201 South Main Street
Suite 750
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
Google Maps
Salt Lake City, Utah
St. Louis, MO
7700 Forsyth Blvd.
Suite 1800
St. Louis, MO 63105
Google Maps
St. Louis, Missouri
Washington, D.C.
1050 Connecticut Avenue NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20036
Google Maps
Photo of Washington, D.C. with the Capitol in the foreground and Washington Monument in the background.
Wilmington, DE
1007 North Market Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
Google Maps
Wilmington, Delaware